Lamictal and Breastfeeding
Although the manufacturer of Lamictal does not recommend taking the drug while breastfeeding, your healthcare provider may recommend that you take it; for many women, stopping the drug is not an option. Because every woman's situation is different, it's important to talk to your healthcare provider about Lamictal and breastfeeding. Together, you can make a shared decision about what is best for you.
Lamictal and Breastfeeding: An Overview
Lamictal® (lamotrigine) passes through breast milk; therefore, the manufacturer does not recommend taking it while breastfeeding. It is important to talk to your healthcare provider about the benefits and risks of using Lamictal while breastfeeding.
Studies have shown that Lamictal passes through breast milk in humans, and nursing infants may be exposed to a significant amount of Lamictal through breast milk. Newborns are probably at the highest risk for problems caused by exposure to this drug, since they are too immature to properly metabolize it.
If you must take Lamictal, this does not necessarily mean you cannot or should not breastfeed your child. If you have permission from your healthcare provider and your child's healthcare provider to breastfeed while taking Lamictal, watch carefully for any signs of problems in your child, especially skin rashes, drowsiness, episodes of not breathing (apnea), or poor sucking. Contact your child's healthcare provider immediately if your child has a skin rash, since this can be quite dangerous (see Lamictal Rash).
Keep in mind that Lamictal is often used in combination with other seizure medications, each of which may or may not be acceptable for use during breastfeeding.
In cases where the mother's Lamictal dosage needed to be increased during pregnancy, if the dosage is not reduced after delivery the mother is at risk for very high levels of the drug. This leads to high levels in the milk, which could increase the risks of problems in the infant. If your Lamictal dosage was increased during pregnancy, ask your healthcare provider if it should be reduced after delivery.